Good Faith

Spent the morning at Legal Aid yesterday in Morganton.  Again, great work that they do, and it helps strengthen case-evaluation skills.  One of the challenges with any case is finding out what possible claims one can bring against the other side.

Often, a client my want to know about claims that we can bring such as claims for attorney’s fees  or just generally, “Can’t we sue them for this or that?” And if the answer is “no,” the next question may be “Can’t you do it anyway?”

Here’s what the rules have to say about that:

For every complaint or motion that an attorney signs, he or she is swearing to the court that “to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law…”  N.C. Gen. Stat. 1A-1, Rule 11

So, if the attorney knows that the law clearly doesn’t offer some remedy, and there isn’t any real argument for changing the law (such as new statutes or federal law that may apply, or a new ruling from a higher court), then the attorney really shouldn’t be asking for it.  If he does, then he may be “asking for it” in the sense that Rule 11 allows for sanctions against the attorney for bringing frivolous claims.

The rule goes on to talk about not creating unnecessary delay, but I will delay discussion on that for another day…


1 Response to “Good Faith”

  1. 1 Gina McWhirter
    March 4, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    Great Blog! It’s about time. Not such a long delay on the next one please.

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